Mutual fund sales declined for the fourth consecurive year in 2012, according to the Investment Company Institute.

Sales were $16.83 trillion, a decline of 35.6 percent from the start of the financial crisis in 2008 ($26.13 trillion) and down 4.7 percent from 2011 ($17.66 trillion).

Redemptions also decreased over the same four-year period, dropping 35.4 percent from a 2008 peak—from $25.73 trillion to $16.62 trillion—and a 6.4-percent reduction from 2011.

The drops in sales and redemptions were primarily from money market accounts, ICI spokesman Mike McNamee said.

New money coming into target-date funds increased 27.4 percent to $52.95 trillion, according to ICI.

The Investment Company Institute’s 2013 Fact Book, released last week, also included the following findings:

• Over twice as many households owning mutual funds were willing to take above average or substantial risks with their investments (28 percent) than those who did not own funds (12 percent). The gap narrowed slightly in the last year.

• Eighty percent of investors who held mutual funds outside of workplace retirement accounts purchased them with the help of investment professionals.

• Seventy-five percent of mutual fund complexes were independent fund advisors

• About 32 percent of the mutual fund industry’s workforce (51,000 people) were employed by the funds’ investment advisors and third-party service providers for functions including investment research, trading and settlement and information technology.